Everyone Has A Story

FeaturedEveryone Has A Story

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Everyone Has A Story.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Everyone has a story” sometime in your lifetime. I believe this is true. Most people don’t realize it, aren’t interested in writing, or don’t know how. But all of us have life experiences that can be instructive or entertaining to the rest of us.
I write stories. I write Bible based stories and I write speculative fiction; I also write historical novels. In fact, you could say I write Biblical historical novels, American historical novels, and Futuristic historical novels. In the last cast it would be a history that hasn’t occurred yet.
What Kind of Stories Are You Talking About?
All kinds. You could write about your trip out west. It could be instructive, entertaining, or just a plain telling of the trip. Your story can go in a lot of different directions. How you write the story is up to you.
The same could be said for a purely fictional account loosely base on an historical event. This would require some research, but the labor would be worth it. Research usually enriches the story being told, so I encourage you to do research.
What Kind of Research?
Depends on your story. The more complicated or extensive it is the more research you need. Good research tends to enrich the story.
But I’ve Never Written A Book Before!
There’s always a first time. And while I don’t necessarily recommend it there are ghostwriters who’ll write your book for a fee. But before that try writing a rough draft by yourself. The draft won’t be perfect but it will be a start. You can also purchase books or borrow books from the library to help you write.
Writing can be fun.
But What About Finding an Agent or Publisher?
I’m neither for or against agents, but I don’t usually write about them. The reason is I favor Indie Publishing where you are the publisher. My Friday blogs deal with publishing. I favor KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) because it is easy and generally free. And the quality is good.
Most of your Traditional Publishers require you having an agent. The process of finding an agent who is willing to represent you can take months, perhaps half a year or longer. Then the agent may take months to find a publisher and the publisher may take up to two years to publish your book. In my view that is way too long!
What About Genre?
Genre is basically a category of artistic expression. It is not just writing books, but that is all I will cover here. It is one of the first things you should check out. Different writers may have different ways of discovering their genre. The best way that I know of is to find other books that are similar to what you want to write. Then find out what categories those books are under.
When I wrote my first novel about space I thought the genre was science fiction. But a reader of this blog told me that Christian Science Fiction is known as Christian Speculative Fiction. So friends, family, and others can help you find out what your genre is. Once you discover that then learn the principles regarding it.
Can I Make Money Writing?
The short answer is yes. There are multiple ways of making money. Whether you can or not is something you must decide. However, if you enjoy writing than I believe that should be your first consideration.
Hone your craft, stick with it, and publish it. All of this can be done for free. And you can get your book out there. Then there’s the matter of advertising and other marketing ideas. In the end a love for writing or a real commitment to writing can sustain you for a long time.
If you have a story to tell why not tell it?
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Christian Speculative Fiction

Christian Speculative Fiction

In a previous blog Why Christian Science Fiction I concluded that there may not be such a genre. But thanks to a reader I discovered I was wrong. So, instead of writing about issues today I will take this time to update my perceptions and yours.

The reader informed me that there is Christian Speculative Fiction and he mentioned Enclave Publishing, an outfit that specializes in Christian Speculative and Science Fiction. So I checked it out and he was right. So in the future I will refer to Christian Speculative Fiction.

Now that I have found a safe harbor  let me promote it. Just like any genre or sub-genre there will be all kinds. The word Christian denotes a certain worldview, but since there are all kinds of Christians it is probably wise to consider there are all types of Christian worldviews. And my research into it verifies such wisdom.

From what I have seen my novel Death Ship and the series Christland springing from it fit nicely into this genre. One writer recently commented that Christian Speculative writing is hard. Now she may have been referring to the difficulties of getting publish which I don’t have. But she could be referencing the writing itself. And with that I agree.

In writing Death Ship I didn’t have the luxury of aliens as a potential enemy. The enemy is twofold: 1) a general charged with destroying Christianity and 2) space itself.

The Christland series involves at least three elements: 1) Earth, 2) Space, and 3) another planet. And then there is General Abner Smith who hates Christians. Powerful, egotistical, and devious, he is a real danger to Christians on Earth and in space.

In addition, there is the nature of animal life on distant planets. I believe that animals may exist on earth-like planets. Only humans are said to be unique. Animals may resemble what we have on Earth or be entirely different. Imagination can provide those animals. What I find difficult is the degree you wander from Earth bound animals. Some science fiction books I have seen and read get real creative with animals. But I think a good solid story doesn’t want to get too creative. There is a story to be told and these additional factors should enhance the story not detract from it.

But so far I have found that writing is still much the same. Christian Speculative is simply telling a story with a Christian worldview and placing it in another part of our universe. You’ll notice I’m not talking about a new world. And why should I? There are other solar systems out there just begging for writers to discover. And mankind has begun not only looking from afar but planning on visiting them. Enter speculation or science fiction.

Actually I think the hardest part of being a writer of Christian Speculative Fiction is the marketing. You go to the Library and try to find that genre. I go regularly and I haven’t found such a genre yet. Part of the problem is that Christian Speculative Fiction is considered, at least in a library, as a sub-genre of science fiction. Which is fine, but it makes it that much harder for readers to find. Avid science fiction readers may consider that statement laughable, but readers who don’t naturally read science fiction might find themselves in agreement.

Having discovered the appropriate sub-genre (whoever came up with ‘speculative’ anyway?) I am more upbeat than before. I’d much rather be in an established genre or sub-genre than to start one.

Reading other authors in your genre is always a good thing. So that is one thing I will now be doing in the Christian Speculative sub-genre. Who knows, I may even do a review. I have just downloaded a novel and have started reading it.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Insights: Christland

Insights: Christland

This new feature is called Insights. It may concern a book within the series World That Was, Christland, or any other series or book I’ve written or will write. I hope you find it interesting.

Christland is a new series within the Science Fiction genre. As noted previously it is better known as Christian Science Fiction.

Death Ship, the first book of the series lays the foundation for the series. In this novel you will find two parallel stories occurring. In Space you follow eighty Christians  arrested, examined, and placed upon a ship whose destination is a distant star and a fiery death. It is a story of courage, romance, and danger.

Meanwhile on Earth you have General Abner Smith the mastermind of this evil persecution as he watches the ship and makes additional plans. Unknown to him the Underground Church, made up of evangelicals and fundamentalists, resists the worldwide ban on worshiping God. They also aim to thwart the general’s plans.

I enjoyed writing this novel. I’ve always liked science fiction to an extent, but it all too often was evolutionary and therefore unbelievable. I found myself wondering why there can’t be science fiction that embraces a Christian view and a more practical plot. I found it challenging and exciting to write. And the amount of research needed and available was simply overwhelming!

Through research I discovered that since the days of Star Trek the idea of space travel has come a long way. They are now seriously looking at things like warp drive, ION engines, replicators (which to some extent already exist), and much more. Since I was already interested in science (not as a student) I found these new developments exciting and thought provoking.

In fact, before I ever got the idea for this book I was already following SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, two competing space developers. Both are exploring the outer rims of space travel and will eventually break through. Death Ship takes place in the 22nd century, therefore allowing more than enough time for the two programs to succeed. In fact, the novel presents a world that has advanced in many ways.

It also depicts a world where Christians are persecuted. This is simply a practical outgrowth of the worldwide persecution we now see. Even here in America we see it starting. Only a nationwide revival can truly overturn this trend. It is true the Trump administration is increasingly acting as a friend of Christianity, but the next president may once again allow attacks against Christians to go unchecked and unpunished.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Insights: World That Was

Insights: World That Was

This new feature is called Insights. It may concern a book within the series World That Was, (as today’s blog is), Christland, or any other series or book I’ve written or will write. I hope you find it interesting.

My very first book ever written was Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles. This book would later be incorporated into Perished: The World That Was. It was a look at the 120 years leading up to the Flood. Some people ignorantly speak of the Flood as a myth. But if they bothered to do research they would discover that it actually happened. I find it instructive how people can throw up challenges that prove to be rather easy to refute simply because they desperately want to disprove the existence of God.

Some people say there were local floods around the world at the time of what we call the Flood. But they don’t consider the difficulties such a belief faces. One simple problem is ‘the magnitude of so many Earth damaging local floods all happening about the same time in history.’ For a flood to cause the traumatic effects discovered through the study of fossils it would have to be huge. So the problem becomes even more difficult and can be stated as, ‘the magnitude of so many huge Earth damaging local floods all happening about the same time in history.’

In other words, for such a scenario to be believed requires huge faith. Greater faith than I have. Because it is a faith in ‘chance.’ It is a blind faith in an arbitrary god called ‘chance.’

What do I mean?

Well, by chance:

  • The Universe was formed (currently called Big Bang)
  • The Earth evolved
  • Local floods around the world appeared at same time
  • These floods were huge, mighty floods
  • They all worked together to change the Earth’s surface

And all this occurred without ‘real observable evidence’ and contrary to what is observable and reproducible. Both evolution and creation have one thing in common, they are both theories. However, creationism looks to the God of heaven Who created the Earth while evolution looks to no god unless he is called the god of chance. Both beliefs require faith, but evolution requires faith in a god that is ever changing; a god who is cruel, unhearing, and without a soul.

Perhaps we should worship and learn more about the God of heaven.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why Christian Science Fiction?

Why Christian Science Fiction?

In my previous blog Announcing Death Ship I touched on the subject of Christian Science Fiction. I mentioned that to my knowledge CSF is not an existing genre. But there are significant differences between CSF and your run of the mill SF. Let’s do a review.

What is Christian Science Fiction? It is:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Space travel
  3. Warp drive
  4. Alien animals
  5. Conflict
  6. Exotic weapons
  7. Far off planets
  8. Spaceships
  9. and more.

Just like science fiction. But the difference lies in what is missing. There:

  1. A Christian worldview
  2. No alien intelligent beings
  3. No vulgar language
  4. No extreme graphics

Why not just operate within traditional Science Fiction?

I may just end up doing that. But if I do I will probably continue to tag it as Christian Science Fiction. Why? Because I don’t want to deceive my potential audience. They will never see some being from another planet who is alien rather than human. Animals, may tend to be exotic, gigantic, or have other unearthly features but nothing that evokes evolution (evolution is non-Christian and is best known as Humanistic Evolution). While there may be Christians that actually believe in evolution it is a sign of their lack of Bible knowledge. So I will be upfront with them and anyone else who prefers traditional science fiction.

Is there a market for CSF?

I really don’t know and it would be very difficult to ascertain as this time. Since there isn’t any definitive genre as CSF it makes research that much harder. Having said that, I believe that the Left Behind series by LaHaye and Jenkins and other End Times novels are at least futuristic and possibly borderline science fiction. The only thing keeping them from being considered such is the lack of space travel, etc.

Probably my biggest argument for Christian Science Fiction is my personal preferences. Our world has been and is plagued by the nonsensical belief in evolution. It defies observable science, masquerades as scientific fact when it can only accurately be called a scientific theory. To be a fact it MUST be observable and repeatable which it is not (which is why Creationism is also a theory).

While it is possible that characters in my books may swear, I never allow the words to be spelled out. I have been against using swearing words in print long before I ever wrote my first book or (for that matter) became a Christian. It doesn’t add anything to a novel, often detracts from the book, and is just in bad taste. People who favor its use usually talk about reflecting the reality world; that everyone swears. But that isn’t any truer than to say everyone is slim. Some people swear a lot, some swear moderately, some swear a little, and some don’t swear at all. Let the reader supply the words just like they did in older fiction with symbols.

So the question was is there a market for CSF and I believe the answer is probably yes. Unless I am an aberration (a definite possibility) then there are others out there who believe the same as I do whether or not they are Christians. They may not be a huge market but they could be a decent size and profitable market.

How realistic can CSF be?”

Actually, it is more realistic than traditional science fiction. Somewhere within the story line there must be a track back to the Earth we know. Since I am, for example, establishing a whole new world there needs to be answers to how it all came to be. Death Ship will answer a lot of those questions. The next 2 books will provide additional answers even while speculative science becomes more pronounced.

There is another idea about reality. Star Trek and Star Wars books, and similar stories, create new worlds that have little, if any, relation to what is presently known about space. My book actually reflects a discovery about a real planet relatively close to Earth. It is possible, I suppose, for other CSF writers to invent imaginary worlds. I have no opposition to this since in fact I do invent an imaginary planet. But generally speaking the more often the reader can identify a real planet or weapon or anything else, the better.

Why do you emphasize the reader’s imagination?

I do that for any genre. And the answer is simple: A reader’s imagination is a tool that every successful writer seeks to stimulate and use. I make use of it in all my books. There are successful writers that I don’t like (their books) who violate my principles but they are still trying to make use of imagination. That is where graphics comes into play. Graphics are word pictures that can go to the nth degree.

As a writer you may have an ideal reader in mind, but you really don’t know what that reader is bringing to the table. Too much graphics can turn them off; too little graphics can be boring. That is the difficult part, finding the middle road that appeals to the widest audience without the author selling out.

But more important than that is the fact that it is the reader who determines the success or failure of a book. Some readers have very little imagination and some a great deal, but how they understand the book is directly related to their imagination. When I write a scene it at first reflects strictly my imagination. My job as a writer is to try to put myself in the reader’s shoes and edit the scene appropriately. Not an easy job, but important.

Do you think they’ll create a Christian Science Fiction genre?

Short answer is probably not. If authors start writing SCF books that prove to be successful then there will be pressure to create such a genre. I do believe that it will take time, perhaps years.

Do you plan on writing other CSF books other than Christland?

At this time the answer is no. Christland will involve a number of books over a period of years. That will keep me busy. Especially since I plan to write at least two more World That Was books and perhaps other Bible based books in the future.

Since I am now 75 it is safe to assume that such writings will take me into my 80’s and 90’’s.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), or World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One of Christland) I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review Death Ship.’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Announcing Death Ship

Announcing Death Ship

I am proud to announce a new novel, Death Ship, that I have just published. You might also say I created a new genre, as well: Christian Science Fiction. I have been unable to find such a definitive genre although I have looked for it. Below is a quick take on the difference between traditional and Christian science fiction.

What is Christian Science Fiction? It is:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Space travel
  3. Warp drive
  4. Alien animals
  5. Conflict
  6. Exotic weapons
  7. Far off planets
  8. Spaceships
  9. and more.

Just like science fiction. But the difference lies in what is missing. There:

  1. A Christian worldview
  2. No alien intelligent beings
  3. No vulgar language
  4. No extreme graphics

If you’ve read my books you know that I do cover such things as immorality, murder, and other types of sin, but I don’t get into the graphical nature. Aside from my Christian conscience I have discovered that all of these things are unnecessary and often detract from what would otherwise be a good book. Actually I came to this conclusion long before I ever became a Christian.

I am aware that there are readers and writers who disagree with me, but their arguments generally are weak. One of my cardinal rules of writing fiction is to leave the reader room to imagine. It enriches the story. This even applies to curse words. In the old days they used symbols to indicate swear words which allowed the reader to provide their own if they wanted to do so.

Today we live in a world where people want “realism,” yet often settle for sensationalism. It’s like reality TV is anything but real. That is sad. But just as Christian fiction takes a different route, Christian Science Fiction takes another route.

In Death Ship you have all the elements of good science fiction and so much more. You have the latest planet Ross 128 b, which was discovered in 2017; you have modern day inventions that either are currently existing or on the drawing boards. In addition, there is a spaceship that is definitely future yet already we see true science speculating about such ships.

The story revolves around a world in turmoil. World War III is started by assassinations of city and national leaders in England and Europe. These take place at the instigation of Arab terrorists. England, Europe, and the United States attack the terrorist’s camps bringing on a world war. While the Arab terrorist network is wiped out, the western world is weakened, including the United States. A new world government is formed and their first decision is to ban religion of all brands, including Christianity. But the Christians, although driven underground, remain faithful. This brings on the campaign to exterminate them that results in 80 Christians beings selected as scientific guinea pigs.

Placed onboard the Gardenia, a converted luxury Science Research ship, they are sent off into space to be used for scientific research. The ultimate aim is to crash into a Red Dwarf star (Gliese 876) and a fiery death. But General Abner Smith, eager to see how Christians would react in space to unexpected problems, has prepared the ship with obstacles for them to face. And he purposely chose Christians, unused to leadership roles, with both knowledge and experience. His goal is for them to rebel and take over the ship only to find that they remain in his hands.

Death Ship is now available on Amazon both in print and digital format.

Title: Death Ship
Series: Christland
Book #1
Publisher: T&R Independent Books
ISBN: 1986066045
ISBN-13: 978-1986066044
Pages: 254
Retail: $17.99
Ingram’s Availability: Yes

And because this book has just been published you have the opportunity to be among the very first reviewers. Don’t let that scare you, embrace it. If you took the time to read the book then you have the right to do a review. Read the book, Review the book, and Post the review on Amazon.com. For further information read the following paragraph.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), or World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One) I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review Death Ship.’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and I will rush you a free PDF copy.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Announcing World of Shem

Announcing World of Shem

I am happy to announce my latest novel World of Shem is now in print and digital format. This novel, a major rewrite of the Rise of Shem, is book 3 of my series The World That Was.  world-of-shem-kdp-11-14-17-for-kindle.jpg

All three books (Perished, World of Noah and the Ark, and World of Shem) are told in a manner that is not only faithful to the Bible but strives to bring the Bible alive to both Christian and non-Christian reader alike. Perhaps because it is a rewrite of a previous novel or perhaps because it is my latest novel, it is my current favorite.

I love to write, but there is something special about writing Bible based stories. I think the reason is that the stories not only bring the Bible alive to readers but to myself as well. In so doing I am able to dig deeper and gain an understanding of the events and people. And of God!

I imagine this is akin to any writer who bases their books on history. In the process of writing you dig deep finding out about the foods people ate, the clothes they wore, and the methods of transportation used. Such knowledge grants both the writer and the reader a greater appreciation of both the events and the people involved.

My study of the people, places, and events of the World of Shem impacted my life. I was particularly impressed with how rapidly civilization grew after the world wide flood. Everything had been destroyed. Yet within 300-500 years a thriving civilization existed again. The only explanation I have is that Noah must have taken a great many tablets (probably mostly clay) with him upon the Ark. These tablets would have contained a great deal of the knowledge of the Old World that perished.

But it was the character of Shem that attracted me the most. The Bible tells us very little about this man, but as I wrote the story I watched his character develop to the point I felt like I knew him. I don’t claim my characterization of him is 100% accurate, but I believe it is a good representation of him.

Having written the book and now published it I am looking for potential reviewers. I can provide the book in a variety of formats (Epub or PDF, for example) at no cost and no conditions, other than the reviewer reads the book through and gives an honest appraisal. I would prefer the 1 through 5 ranking system. If you are able to provide an Amazon review, so much the better.

If you are interested in reviewing the book please email me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Please put “Book Review Request” in the subject line. That will get my immediate attention and response. It would be helpful if you would state the format desired (such as paperback, PDF, or Epub). If you have another format you’d like mention it and I will try to accommodate you.

Whether you review the book or not, happy reading!

Title: World of Shem
Publisher: T&R Independent Books
Printer: CreateSpace
ISBN: 10: 154242383x or 13: 978-1542423830
Contact for Reviews: Marketing@tr-indbkstore.com
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Is Writing A Service To God?

Is Writing A Service To God?

Recently I blogged about my journey of faith. Today I want to get back on track and talk about serving God as an author.

Is writing fiction really serving God?

That’s a reasonable question since some people believe that it is not true service. I once was upbraided for writing novels based on the Bible because:

  • People will mistake it for the truth

  • Thereby getting wrong doctrine

There are a few things wrong with that view:

  1. The Bible is found in the Bible or Religion section of bookstores not in the fiction section

  2. Novels are found in the Fiction section not in the Religion section

  3. My books state they are novels

  4. My novels are purposely based on Biblical fact and doctrine

  5. My novels flesh out the stories rather than disagree

In other words, no person who has read my books can seriously claim they teach false doctrine. If there is any doctrine in the book it always agrees with the Bible. In fact, I have been told my books “bring the Bible alive!”

Actually one of the reasons for writing Bible based novels is to encourage people to read the Bible; to discover what is Bible fact and what is a product of my imagination. It is always a thrill when someone reads my books and their faith is either renewed or they become more interested in reading the Bible.

And that is a service!

The true test of service, any kind of service, is as follows: Does it

  • Agree with Biblical facts

  • Honor God

  • Inspire people to read the Bible

  • Inspire people to worship God

  • Inspire others to serve God

  • Inspire people to live godly lives

It needn’t do all the above but it should have at least one of the elements. Christian authors, whether fiction or non-fiction writers, have an awesome opportunity to influence people for Christ. You don’t have to be preachy. You don’t even have to write about Bible events or people. But our writings should reflect a Christian approach to life.

My books generally take place before the birth of Christ yet I strive to present a Christian view. So while I don’t mention Jesus, I do mention the Redeemer. In addition, I emphasize the Scriptures (aka the Writings).

So if you’re a Christian author don’t be shy about being one. You have a job, perhaps a calling. Trust His leading and do things His way. And when people challenge you respond in pride, “I write because God gave me the talent and because He wants me to use it for Him.”

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

What To Do About Bad Reviews?

What To Do About Bad Reviews?

I have been very blessed that so far I have had only one bad review. Some authors have had more than that, but no matter how many you get it hurts.

So what do you do about bad reviews?

A few years back I received such a review about the novel Perished. Sandwiched between 4 star and 5 star reviews it still offended me. Did I write a nasty letter to the reviewer? Did I erase the review from Amazon?

No, and no. The worst mistake you can make is to remove a negative review. Actually a negative review highlights the positive reviews. Readers will see that lonely negative review and also the positive reviews. And most will rightly decide something was wrong with the reviewer.

The young man reviewing my book actually pointed out the problem in his review. He admitted that he didn’t finish the book. Then he proceeded to tell his reasons for not finishing the book.

And this is where anyone who read the book would immediately know the problem. He not only didn’t read the book to the finish, he jumped around. His main complaint was that some of the characters did not remain true to their characterization at the beginning. I spotted this immediately.

One of the problems with writing historical fiction is that some of the characters in the book are drawn from actual historical accounts. In the case of Perished I was writing about actual Biblical events and people which required the use of real names.

Sometimes these names were identical to others. So it was possible to have two or more characters with the same name. Now if the reader is following the story as it was written, it is easy to determine which character is front and center. But if you jump around, never a good idea, then you could easily get confused as to which character you are reading about.

So the review was not only a bad rating (2 stars), but it was a poor review in approach and content. One side of me wanted to write him and point out his failings, but I didn’t do that. Why?

Because doing so is not good form. Most writers and teachers of writing will warn you not to criticize the reviewer. It simply offends others.

So I bit my tongue, metaphorically speaking, and left the review there. As I stated earlier it highlights the 4 and 5 star reviews. It becomes a plus and eventually helps the marketing.

Another response though is to take that negative review and ask yourself questions. In this case I asked myself if I could have done a better job of identifying which character was present? Most of the time the answer to that question is yes.

It’s possible that I could have eliminated certain characters and used alternate or even fictional characters instead. Sometimes when complaints come you can rewrite the book or at least certain scenes. The principle here is to treat negative reviews as a learning experience.

You can also treat good reviews the same way. Sometimes a reviewer may point out an error or a problematic tendency in the book even though they gave the book 5 stars. Once again you can take that and turn it into a learning experience.

Which brings me to another point or principle: leaving the negative review in place can serve as a reminder to you (or me) that you can’t please all the people. So don’t take it personally. Instead try to turn it into a positive learning experience both in marketing and in writing. Such an attitude will improve you as a writer.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

 

 

I Will Show Forth All Thy … Works

I Will Show Forth All Thy … Works

The last part of Psalm 9:1 relates well to one of my favorite verses that inspires my writing, Psalm 71:18b, “until I have shown thy strength unto this generation.”(KJV). Here’s all of Psalm 9:1:

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works” (KJV).

Speaking as a Christian author these verses speak volumes to me. Since I believe God called and enabled me to write I feel it is important that my writings reflect His will, plans, and strength. You might say it makes sense since I write novels based on the Bible. But it would be true no matter what I wrote. For example, my novel Dead Eye Will is based on American history not Biblical. But I still wanted to honor God.

I think it can be safely said that authors like Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, and a host of Christian authors would be like-minded. The truth is that Christian authors are a cut above the average author. Don’t get me wrong, I am not speaking of talent or even smarts. I am talking about that when a professing Christian endeavors to do anything he/she is representing God. That puts a special burden upon us.

How we react to that burden or perhaps I should call it a challenge will impact how well we perform. And the burden doesn’t guarantee success. It is simply a challenge that affects how we approach writing whether it’s a novel or non-fiction.

This principal affects whatever a Christian does, whether a plumber, artist, teacher, CEO, laborer, or whatever. God expects us to put forth our very best and when we do, we reflect His works and His strength. It is our motivation. Because of what He did for us, we want to please Him and to tell others about Him.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.